The Hartford has announced first quarter net income of $244 million, down 9% from the prior year quarter.
The US property and casualty insurer’s Q1 results were particularly impacted by a $650 million settlement with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA), $214 million in pre-tax net catastrophe losses and $185 million in COVID-19 related excess mortality losses in Group Benefits.
These factors also contributed to a 58% fall in core earnings at $203 million.
Commercial lines combined ratio was 109.7% with an underlying ratio of 91.2%, up 3.7 point improvement from 94.9% in the prior year quarter
Meanwhile, small commercial new business premiums were up 12%, driving record quarterly premium in this business.
Net investment income hit $509 million, representing 11% from the prior year quarter driven by strong annualized partnership returns of 21.1%.
“I have never been more excited about The Hartford’s future,” said The Hartford’s Chairman and CEO, Christopher Swift.
“Going forward, the macroeconomic environment and favorable industry outlooks should provide significant tailwinds, which when coupled with our strong portfolio of businesses and the continued execution of our strategy, position us to deliver accelerated growth and continued margin expansion as evidenced by our strong underlying results this quarter.”
The Hartford’s President Doug Elliot, added “Property and Casualty achieved outstanding underlying underwriting results in the first quarter. Each of our business lines realized underlying margin expansion. This quarter also marked an important inflection point for growth, with written premiums increasing four percent in Commercial Lines.
“New business in Small Commercial achieved record levels and our Global Specialty and Middle Market businesses are together producing strong cross-sell results. We continued to see a favorable pricing environment throughout the quarter, resulting in strong pricing performance. I am pleased with our momentum heading into the remainder of the year.”
Swift added, “With our impressive outlook for financial performance and strong capital position, we are increasing the share repurchase authorization to $2.5 billion through 2022 and accelerating initial buyback plans, expecting to utilize $1.5 billion by year-end.
“As a result, we expect to achieve a return on equity of 13-14 percent in 2022 and 2023, enhancing value creation for all our stakeholders.”